Monday, September 28, 2009

Kissing 101: The Basics

When your five senses are fully engaged during any activity, you can be sure that whatever it is you’re doing will be enhanced immeasurably. If kissing is the activity, you can bet your sweet bippy that you’re onto something amazing. A fully loaded sensual kiss that utilizes tasting, smelling, touching, seeing, and hearing will undoubtedly make the difference between a very nice kiss and a knock-your-socks-off- this-could-be-the-start-of-something-extraordinary kiss.

Dr. Laura Berman, the Birds and the Bees Guru of the Oprah Show, appeared on a segment about sex appeal. She alleged that “couples who kiss and cuddle regularly are eight times less likely to be stressed and depressed than couples who don’t.” Moreover, “how often a couple kisses determines the happiness of the relationship.” Clearly, anything less than a ten second peck doesn’t count. When asked, about a third of the audience admitted to a daily ten second kiss. Oprah proudly disclosed that her minimum daily kiss quotient is about twenty-seven seconds. (You go girl!)

Men have testosterone, the hormone that fuels the sex drive, in their saliva. As such, kissing a man deeply, passionately, and (most important) moistly ensures the transfer of testosterone and results in a libidinous boost to receiving partners.

It was time for my own research. So up to the nookie nook I went with my husband (the research subject). After the prerequisite verbal foreplay (I nearly always require), I hit the green go button on the cd player where Love Is Space by Deva Premal was already in position. I initiated a kiss and began to mentally count the seconds: “one one thousand, two one thousand,” and so forth until it became too difficult to concentrate on counting. I fixed my eyes on the clock in view and took note of the starting time. The second kiss lasted one minute and 40 seconds… and it was GOOOOD. That kiss, like the overture of a Tony Award Winning Broadway Show, was in fact the beginning of something spectacular. Once in the groove and without the distraction of clock watching, my research subject and I commenced our own smash hit… and as Rachel Ray would say… YUMMO!

A ten second or more kiss (daily or otherwise) can be like the shot that goes off as a race begins. Whether you’re looking forward to a sprint, a hurdle, or a marathon is a matter of time, energy, and/or opportunity.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Attitude Is Everything

A health crisis or chronic condition is sure to put the kibosh on even the most delightful intimate relationship. As mentioned in a previous blog post, my sex life and libido took a drastic turn away from health and happiness when an unexpected and unwelcome medical scare usurped my conjugal bed.

Trying to ameliorate an anemic libido doesn't come easily. Timing, like attitude, is everything. My beloved husband and I ventured upstairs to our sacred tantric paradise, following his invitation, where I soon came up with a new game. (Newcomers Note: I promote the playing of sensual games as a means of erotic entertainment and as an antidote for connubial boredom.)

The rules of The Blood Pressure Game are easy to follow. The equipment is minimal yet the results are substantial. The object of the game is to overcome a fearful juncture while having a really fun time frolicking in the flesh.

Get out your Omron Ultra Compact Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor (if you have one) or any other blood pressure monitoring device you might have on hand. If neither you nor your lover has ever had any concerns about blood pressure, you might want to purchase a BP monitor since the game is that much fun.

Take each other’s blood pressure before, during, and after your favorite sensual activity. Keep track of whether or not blood pressure readings go up or down. Be advised that changing positions (e.g. lying down, sitting up, one partner on top of the other, etc) may affect the reading. Do this with as many different activities as you like and continue for as long as you wish. Feel free to forget about the blood pressure monitoring at any point during the game and focus your attention elsewhere.

Anyone who thinks this game is totally warped and/or perverse is free to play something else. This game, however, demonstrates the extent to which attitude can change everything. Throw in a little creativity and voila… magic. The Blood Pressure Game made my honey and I laugh and quite possibly got us over the hump (no pun intended) of our shared angst.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Coping Well Or Not At All

When life hands you a bag of lemons, do you have the coping skills needed to make lemonade? Can you remain calm when the rug is pulled out from under you?

The last few weeks have been some of the suckiest of my life. The medical emergency and health crisis my husband and I endured felt like we’d been thrown into the eye of a sudden hurricane. Initially, I coped surprisingly well. I maintained my wits, kept my balance (most of the time), conducted all necessary business, and functioned as well as any well adjusted human.

So what made and continues to make the difference between comparative calm and complete chaos?

Friends: The loving support of friends (which includes my next door neighbors) was and is my lifeblood. They've provided everything from much needed generalized availability to hugs, food, energy work, prayers, medical research, and phone calls. My philosophy on friendship is give as much as you are able and take what you need when it’s offered.

Spirituality: Believing there’s more to life than what we experience on a daily basis is the foundation of my spiritual repertoire. I respect and appreciate all religious traditions and have a healthy and enthusiastic interest in concepts such as God, the Divine Feminine, the Divine Masculine, Ascended Masters, Angels, Guides, Goddesses, Mermaids, Fairies, Spirit Animals (Wolves most fondly), Yoga, Shamanism, and Energy Work.

Meditation: I regularly meditate with friends (mainly my BFF the Shaman and my esteemed red-haired Yogi). We often engage in silent meditation whereby we sit together in a serene location (indoors or out) with or without background music. Meditating alone frequently includes listening to my Deva Premal and Krishna Das cds which is always, always, always meditative and healing. Mantra meditation (the repetition of a sacred phrase chanted or sung as an incantation or prayer) is always, always, always restorative and soothing.

Exercise: I greet the day (nearly everyday) by going to a local track to walk and sometimes jog five miles. My early morning track pack is an extended group of special friends who are of all ages and backgrounds. The exercise and interaction are therapeutic for body, mind, and spirit under normal circumstances and are even more so during times of challenge and stress.

Twitter and Facebook: I make frequent and seemingly obsessive online visits to Twitter and Facebook. Tweeting can be and often is a consistently wonderful distraction. I have been known to laugh out loud (LOL).

Though the immediate crisis, like the eye of a storm, has passed… the hurricane, is not yet over. I’ll need all of my coping mechanisms in place as much and maybe more than before.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Revisiting Passion

This is the true story of how my husband (of two decades plus) and I unexpectedly revisited passion. It’s an account that’s intended to demonstrate how an everyday woman (such as me) and an everyday man (such as my husband) overcame a frightful experience that threatened to destroy the very special life we created together over the past 20 months… a life we fully enjoyed.

My beloved and I were looking forward to an empty nest. Our son, now a freshman in college, left home two days before our daughter, a university senior. Raleigh, one of my favorite co-workers, had been teasing me for weeks about what he expected of a goddess-dwelling- empty nest. Surely there would be wanton nudity and wild sex a plenty. Right? Wrong!

In less than an hour into the Grand Opening of our Empty Nest, my darling and I were en route to the local hospital emergency room. His situation, we soon learned, was life-threatening. The subsequent hospital stay and the much hoped for return home were fraught with angst. Needless to say, when one partner experiences a medical crisis, both partners are traumatized. Our return home presented challenges we hadn’t anticipated. I was afraid of everything. I became the “Don’t” wife. Don’t strain yourself; Don’t lift anything heavier than our cat; Don’t do this… Don’t do that. My husband followed suit and Didn’t… whatever didn’t mean in the moment.

Although no doctor advised us against it, sex of any sort became a NO NO. In my terrified but loving eyes, my husband was too fragile for even the tamest carnal activity. When Internet research on the physiology of sex yielded no comfort, I asked the doctor everything I wanted to know about the rigors of sex and orgasm. He assured me that I asked good questions and gave us what felt like his blessing.

It was my birthday… a big one… so we decided to celebrate life and go out for lunch. We went to our local Chevy’s (http://chevys.com/) and since my sweetie couldn’t drink (he’s on a no alcohol regime), I drank alone. The delightful young waiter recommended a scrumptiously potent drink: Dos Patrones, a yummy concoction of tequila, Grand Marnier and fresh- squeezed orange juice. The atmosphere, the service, the food, and of course the company were purrrfection.

We returned home, my brain cells still bathing in alcohol, and hightailed it to the attic love nest we hadn’t seen since the hospitalization. There was talking, laughing, and an amorous intimacy born of relief and gratefulness to be together in our sacred space. The head-bobbing-around, hands-engaged-on face kissing complete with tears streaming down my cheeks, led to an afternoon of Disney-Theme Park-Matterhorn-Quality, Days-Of-Our-Lives-Soap Opera sex.

Perhaps it was only a one shot passionate interlude. But even if it was just for one afternoon, I learned that a long time married, everyday goddess and her mortal man can revisit passion.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Vibrators And Sex Toys

If you live in New York City, a tasteful adult toy store is probably only a subway or bus ride away. If you live in a suburb, however, or a remote city (especially one with a conservative orientation), you’re less likely to find such an establishment anywhere nearby. Fortunately for shoppers who want them, vibrators and sex toys are readily available on the Internet. There are many websites to choose from, some of which are more goddess friendly than others.

If you Google vibrators and sex toys, more than two million options come up, many of which are sponsored links that feel safer (to me) than non sponsored links. In general, I approach non sponsored links (especially in the sexual arena) as if they were potentially cootie laden.

One of my favorite retail locations in cyberspace for vibrators and sex toys is http://www.babeland.com/. In addition to a well stocked inventory of adult toys and games, the easy-to-understand details and product descriptions make shopping a piece of cake even for the novice. New visitors to the site should note the How To's & Other Sex Information tab. Included therein is user friendly information on How to Use a Vibrator, How to Find Your G Spot, How to Spice Up Your Sex Life, and more.

There are four Babeland store locations, three in New York City and one in Seattle. Going into an adult toy store can be overwhelming; there’s so much to choose from. Sales associates are knowledgeable about the products and will be helpful with the selection process if subtle guidance is requested.

If you’re lucky enough to live within traveling distance to a Babeland store, the plentiful events sound quite interesting. There’s a Babeland Brunch Series, another for Medical Professionals, and workshops galore. Also available on the website are resources for Babeland parties, kind of like Tupperware but more fun.

Vibrators and sex toys can be enjoyed solo or with a lover. If intimate partners have no appreciation for this genre, many toys are small enough to hide away in a lingerie drawer or other private place.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Guru Encounters Of The Close Kind



Can a prospective devotee embrace a guru (spiritual teacher and guide) who he or she has never met? Moreover, is it feasible to learn from a teacher who’s left their earthly body?

Baba Neem Karoli was a great Indian saint of the Himalayan lineage who left his body in 1973.” Also known as Maharaj-ji by his devotees, this guru is known for a simple but universal teaching, “love everyone, serve everyone, remember God, and tell the truth.” Information and photos are abundantly available at http://nkbashram.org./
My introduction to Neem Karoli Baba was the by-product of my interest in the music of Krishna Das (see earlier blog entry Musical Gift #3 For You: Krishna Das). To make a long story short, KD’s path which includes introducing others to chanting as a spiritual practice is in service to his beloved guru. The more I’ve been exposed to Maharaj-ji, the more I am touched by the simplicity of his message. I know that his essence inspires and comforts me. But how can that be?
At my last KD event, I purchased a little book, Flow of Grace. There’s a passage atop page 49 quoted from the Yoga of the Bhagavad Gita (one of the most important Hindu scriptures) which has helped me understand my unusual heart stirring reaction to the photos and words of Maharaj-ji.
If the Earth can be illumined even today by stars which disintegrated long ago, it is not impossible that the hearts of its inhabitants may be illumined, sanctified, entranced and beautified by Grace which emanates from a spiritual being, vitalized long ago in the chronology of time. Like a charged battery, that spiritual entity can reveal itself, wherever there is available a receiving set attuned to it.
It is in service to Baba Neem Karoli that I write with an open, loving heart in the hope that my words make a difference, even a small one, to readers. If I can induce laughter, help repair a broken relationship, or inspire individuals to appreciate their unique soul-path, I am joyful.